It’s the 4th largest nation in the world, and yet it only ranks about 17th for its total number of birds. What, then, attracts birders to the USA? Perhaps its birding appeal parallels its general appeal to outsiders: the freedom and safety to go just about anywhere; excellent transportation infrastructure; a wide range of climatic conditions; and a vast network of easily accessible public lands, most of which facilitate public access and enforce their wildlife protections. The USA also supports an unsurpassed birding network, with hundreds of listserves, Audubon chapters, hotlines, and dedicated birding sites. Several endemic bird species draw attention to the states, including: Yellow-billed Magpie in the far west; Brown-capped and Black Rosy-Finches in the big mountains; Lesser Prairie-Chicken and Henslow’s Sparrow in the plains; and Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, and Brown-headed Nuthatch in the east. Pelagic birding from the Pacific and Atlantic coasts has produced such rarities as Wandering Albatross, Bulwer’s Petrel, and Cape Verde Shearwater. Wildlife highlights go way beyond the birds here, with the USA ranking 5th in the world for mammal diversity, including more than 20 chipmunk species. The nation also stands at the center of the global salamander diversity, with one-third of the world’s 650+ salamander species. Step off the continental USA to explore Alaska, Hawaii, and 16 additional territories in the Caribbean and South Pacific and you’ll find what feels like different worlds of flora and fauna. Birders of the world: Exercise your freedom to explore the United States of America.